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CEO Advisor® Newsletter
February 2015

Comparison of One-to-One Advisory Services vs. Group Coaching Services

CEO Advisor Expands Services to Meet Growing Demands

CEO Advisor, Inc., a leading business consulting firm based in Newport Beach, CA is expanding its range of consulting services to address a growing demand from CEOs, presidents and business owners of small and mid-size companies.  As part of this expansion to more businesses nationwide, CEO Advisor, Inc. is further educating CEOs and business owners on the types of business advisory services available and the benefits and drawbacks of each.
 
This month, CEO Advisor is focusing on the comparison of one-to-one business consulting services such as those offered by CEO Advisor, Inc. vs. group coaching services offered by peer coaching companies in a group setting. These key differences greatly impact the value you can gain in growing your business to the next level, as well as, the results you will realize in addressing your specific issues and achieving your goals.
 
Business Advisory Services vs. Group Coaching Services
 
For more than a decade, CEO Advisor, Inc. has provided one-to-one, focused, measurable business advisory services directly to CEOs, presidents and business owners of small and mid-size companies.  The progress is weekly with a defined set of objectives and a weekly agenda to focus on our clients' specific goals and needs.  The one-to-one advisory meetings are 100% confidential with no information exchanged with others.  
 
Business Advisory Services 
 
The advantages of one-to-one business advisory services are many with direct benefit and a great return on investment:

  • Seasoned, trusted professional that has been a successful CEO, and has a Master's Degrees in Business with over a decade of business advisory experience and expertise
  • One-to-one focused meetings at the CEO or business owners' office
  • Weekly meetings or conference calls with a dedicated, trusted business advisor to ensure progress every week
  • 100% confidentiality of your business dealings, financials and plans
  • Work  completed on your goals, strategies and priorities every minute in meetings/conference calls; the business advisor works for you off-site, as well
  • Hands-on, personalized, focused approach to growing your business and addressing your issues with no wasted or down time
  • Actual work performed and deliverables completed by your business advisor to truly assist the CEO, president or business owner to accomplish critical goals
  • Trackable, measurable results on a weekly basis to accomplish goals and issues timely; some time commitment from you, but very manageable on your time-frame
  • No long-term commitment; goals are targeted for completion in 3 months
  • Pricing is affordable and comparable depending on the service level desired

Group Coaching Services
 
The pitfalls of group coaching services or peer executive coaching seem to outweigh the time and money investment:

  • Facilitators with varied expertise and experience levels and education levels
  • Most of the time is spent on other's problems in a group of 12 to 20 people
  • Most of the meetings are committed to solving other's issues or guest speakers when you have your own issues and priorities to deal with and solve
  • Meetings are monthly with no real path to accomplishing pressing issues timely
  • Meetings are long (half to full days) and in different locations each month
  • Sensitive or confidential information is shared to many people
  • One year commitments with no defined near term period to accomplish pressing issues or goals
  • Pricing is high given the long-term commitment, lack of focus on your priorities and goals and the marginal return on investment

The process followed by CEO Advisor, Inc. for business advisory services is very straight forward.  The following are the recommended steps to secure a hands-on, trusted business advisor in a one-to-one and confidential engagement:

  1. Initial No Cost, No Obligation Meeting at Your office or Conference Call - You will understand if there is a fit with the business advisor, you will clearly start to define your needs and goals, and the process and pricing will be explained in detail.
  2. Follow-up Information Provided - You will receive information on the business advisor's history and accomplishments, references and testimonials, an engagement agreement is provided, and you will formulate your commitment to address your issues and accomplish your goals along side your trusted business advisor.
  3. Engagement Agreement - You will make a decision to move forward on a three month engagement that is month to month thereafter, paying a monthly set retainer fee for a designated number of hours consisting of weekly meetings/conference calls plus hands-on work performed by the business advisor.
  4. First Meeting for Goal Setting and Getting Started - Your first meeting is dedicated to discussing your business, reviewing your financials, and primarily to set your goals for the 3 month engagement.  The focus is on the top priorities of your business that are critical to your success. The business advisor should clearly document these goals, help you prioritize them and assign target completion dates for each goal. The focused, hands-on work begins at this point.
  5. Meetings and Conference Calls - Every meeting or conference call has an agenda prepared by the business advisor to accomplish specific tasks toward achieving your set of goals.  This ensures progress on a weekly basis, while making efficient use of a limited amount of your time, and utilizing the business advisor to the fullest.
  6. Progress to Address Issues, Increase Sales and Gross Profit, Increase Net Profit and Dramatically Increase the Value of Your Business - Your business is your most valuable asset and it will yield the greatest return when your business is sold in the future.  Your trusted business advisor should enable you to correct important issues, build sales substantially, improve profitability and build tremendous value in your company toward a successful exit in the future.
  7. Tracking and Accomplishing Goals - A strong business advisor should track activity and progress and provide that documented information to you monthly. Meetings and conference calls should be documented and on-going agendas used to keep you on track and efficiently accomplishing what you need. Your strategy, planning and execution are paramount to your success.

Don't persevere through another year of peer or group coaching services, or expect your issues to go away without definitive and focused action.
 
A trusted, seasoned business consultant is critical to your success, greater sales and profits, and a dramatically higher valuation of your business.  CEO Advisor, Inc. has helped many CEOs and small business owners achieve results and greater success over the last decade.
 
Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. at (949) 629-2520, by email at mhartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.

7 Critical Tips for Increasing Your Average Sale
Critical Skills for the CEO/Owner
The Wharton Business School newsletter, published by The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania did a recent poll of executives and business owners. The results below show the four most important skills that would strengthen a CEO's performance.
Strengthening what skill would most improve your performance?
Leadership - 33%
Time Management - 28%
Negotiating - 22%
Understanding Your Financials - 17% 
1. Leadership
Leadership and execution is the key to success and achieving your goals. Leadership requires planning, organization, being proactive, having a crystal clear understanding of the business both financially (quantitatively) and operationally (qualitatively), hiring and managing people of multiple generations and cultures, and creating a culture of accountability to grow your business to the next level.
2. Time Management
Time management is the Achilles heel of most CEOs and small business owners. Not just managing time on a calendar and working 60 hours a week to keep up, but real strategy and planning to focus and structure your time to impact your business in a disciplined manner. CEO Advisor, Inc. works with its CEOs and small business owner clients to set goals and priorities, and truly excel in both leadership and time management.
3. Negotiating to Success
Negotiating is the Holy Grail in business - with customers, prospects, vendors, employees, etc. We focus deeply on negotiations using some of the top techniques used by military leaders and business people. Your sales team can benefit tremendously from sales training and negotiating skills training from securing the initial meeting to negotiating price effectively to closing large deals. Strengthening your negotiating skills can yield a 100X return on your investment. If you are not a master negotiator and salesperson, invest in your negotiating skills and prosper in 2014 and beyond.
4. Understanding Your Financials
If there is one New Year's resolution that every CEO and small business owner should commit to is gaining a thorough understanding of the financials of your business. If you don't, you are flying blind! This includes your Profit & Loss Statement (Accrual and Cash basis), Balance Sheet, Financial Ratios, creating a 2014 Financial Forecast, and learning to analyze and understand how to positively impact your Gross Margins and Net Profit, as well as, pinpointing early signs of problems. CEO Advisor Inc. spends the time to ensure every client not only understands but uses their company's financials in growing their business to the next level.
Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. today at (949) 629-2520 for a no cost initial consultation, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.
Critical Skills for the CEO/Owner
The Wharton Business School newsletter, published by The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania did a recent poll of executives and business owners. The results below show the four most important skills that would strengthen a CEO's performance.
Strengthening what skill would most improve your performance?
Leadership - 33%
Time Management - 28%
Negotiating - 22%
Understanding Your Financials - 17% 
1. Leadership
Leadership and execution is the key to success and achieving your goals. Leadership requires planning, organization, being proactive, having a crystal clear understanding of the business both financially (quantitatively) and operationally (qualitatively), hiring and managing people of multiple generations and cultures, and creating a culture of accountability to grow your business to the next level.
2. Time Management
Time management is the Achilles heel of most CEOs and small business owners. Not just managing time on a calendar and working 60 hours a week to keep up, but real strategy and planning to focus and structure your time to impact your business in a disciplined manner. CEO Advisor, Inc. works with its CEOs and small business owner clients to set goals and priorities, and truly excel in both leadership and time management.
3. Negotiating to Success
Negotiating is the Holy Grail in business - with customers, prospects, vendors, employees, etc. We focus deeply on negotiations using some of the top techniques used by military leaders and business people. Your sales team can benefit tremendously from sales training and negotiating skills training from securing the initial meeting to negotiating price effectively to closing large deals. Strengthening your negotiating skills can yield a 100X return on your investment. If you are not a master negotiator and salesperson, invest in your negotiating skills and prosper in 2014 and beyond.
4. Understanding Your Financials
If there is one New Year's resolution that every CEO and small business owner should commit to is gaining a thorough understanding of the financials of your business. If you don't, you are flying blind! This includes your Profit & Loss Statement (Accrual and Cash basis), Balance Sheet, Financial Ratios, creating a 2014 Financial Forecast, and learning to analyze and understand how to positively impact your Gross Margins and Net Profit, as well as, pinpointing early signs of problems. CEO Advisor Inc. spends the time to ensure every client not only understands but uses their company's financials in growing their business to the next level.
Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. today at (949) 629-2520 for a no cost initial consultation, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.


The best in corporate America have perfected upselling as a key factor in their sales strategy. They fully understand the value to their business, as well as, to their customers. The same sales strategy is important for your business.

 

As you build your customer base, you need to realize as many dollars as possible from each customer - now and on-going. Boost the dollar value of your average sale, and you boost your cash flow and bottom line. Here's how you can increase your average sale, while providing a better service to your customers.  


    1. Crunch the Numbers. Begin by figuring the dollar value of your average sale for a day, month or year. If you gain 10 customers and total sales of $40,000 in a typical week, your average sale is $4,000. Then, you can set a new target and plot your strategy to exceed it by targeting larger companies, upselling a higher level service or set of products and cross-selling other products and services.
    2. Bundle Your Offerings. Encourage customers to spend more by offering multiple products or services. You can also bundle your time. An IT services company charging by the hour started selling services in 20 or 30-hour blocks or on a retainer basis for a one year or two year agreement. This new option yielded higher average sales and ensured recurring business.
    3. Change Your Product or Service Mix. Adding or remixing what you sell can help grow your typical sale size. The same effect can sometimes be achieved by no longer offering lower-priced products or services.  Focus your sales team on the products/services with the most demand, at the highest dollar amounts and the highest gross profit margins.
    4. Create Monthly Sales Challenges. Focusing your sales team on a particular area or set of high priced or bundled services for a month can also generate add-on business.  Devise a simple bonus plan to compensate the top salesperson with a flat bonus amount to incentivize the team.
    5. Promote Hidden Products or Services. I once advised a technology service company that sold only 1.5 services per customer despite offering more than 20 types of services. A survey revealed that most clients didn't know they sold many of those services. This alone can increase sales substantially on a consistent basis.
    6. Train Your Staff to Make the Higher Dollar Sale. This is critical. Simply making your sales team aware of your target sale value will help you get there. If they're just selling what the customer came in for, you're not going to hit your numbers. A goal based solely on the number of closed deals per month will only drive your sales team to focus on smaller prospects and disincentivize them to focus on larger, higher value customers.
    7. Use Sales Meetings to Beef Up Sales.  Focus specifically on increasing Sales and Gross Profit Margin by consistently tracking and emphasizing how to best offer a range of products or services to best benefit customers and generate the highest dollars to your company.  Role play in sales meetings to ensure your salespeople know the right questions to ask and nail the sale.


By using sales strategies and tactics like these to maximize every sale, you will increase cash flow while you're building profits and the value of your business. Sales strategy and planning will pay off many times over and your customers tend to be more satisfied with the higher level of services.

 

CEO Advisor, Inc. specializes in Strategic Planning and Sales Strategy/Execution.  Call Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO today for a no cost, no obligation discussion on how to increase your sales, margins, profits and the value of your company at (949) 629-2520, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com, or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.

Testimonial  


"I highly recommend Mark Hartsell, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. Mark and I rebuilt my management consulting business and, in all honesty, I couldn't have done it myself: incorporating, marketing plans, sales coaching, prospective client lists and a dozen other tasks - all in less than six months. He was easy to work with, supportive, and perhaps most importantly, he had workable, practical answers to my business questions and problems that flowed from his broad business experience."


CEO, Energy and Environmental Consulting Firm

 

Words of Wisdom


"The person who gets the farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore."


Dale Carnegie
Writer,
Lecturer on Self-Improvement

Prime Minister of the U.K.